I always forget about blogs as being a social media platform, when in reality, blogs laid the groundwork for the Web 2.0 technologies we experience today. When I worked for an interactive marketing agency in 2007, our flagship technology was the content management system that we built in to almost all of our products. It allowed companies instant control over the information they were disseminating on their site. It looked a lot like the WordPress Web based software I am using to write this post. In 2007 we were just beginning to learn about the influences blogs have over your company’s Web presence, and it was my task to examine how this revolution was taking over corporate communications. It was a lot of work during a very dynamic time in the industry. Twitter was in a fledgling state, and companies were just starting to be allowed to use Facebook to connect with fans. Companies were uncertain of these new advertising/communication platforms, but one thing we could sell them on for certain was the power of a blog.
Blogs can provide a forum for your customers in which to reach you, they contribute to the optimized text you need for your site and as a result of these two factors they can help raise your position within search engine results pages. Of course that was the buzz back in 2007, and people still spend countless resources on discovering the best way to reach that number one position. However, I think some of the focus has shifted since I last helped sell a blog. People are more apt to engage in online conversation now with their favorite companies. It is much easier now given the advancements of tools like Facebook and Twitter because these tools make that communication more familiar.
So what does all of this mean for professional sports? I think most of them already know the benefits of blogging. It is evident when you visit their Web sites. The Dallas Cowboys have six blogs on their site alone. This doesn’t count their Twitter and Facebook presence. Each blog represents a different aspect of the franchise – one blog is even about the new Cowboys stadium. Of course it isn’t difficult to drive traffic to these sites, since they are within the DallasCowboys.com Web site. However, it’s important to note how may people are interacting with the blog (comments) and how the Cowboys, or any sports team, are incorporating this content found on their blog in other aspects of their social media campaign, and of course, how they can leverage this to reach out to women.
Women are more likely to make purchasing decisions based on information they find while reading blogs over other forms of social media. In 2009 a social media survey by women’s blog network, BlogHer, it is revealed that 42 million women in the United States utilize social media on a weekly basis. While social network use dominates the usage patterns, blog activity comes in a close second, with 23 million engaging in blogs at least once a week (as opposed to 31.5 million for social networks). These blogs yield the widest influence on women’s purchasing habits, and with women hold much of the purchasing power in US households, it is important to take this information and leverage it.
Perhaps sports teams can implore women bloggers to publish their experiences at games, or write about how their families come together in evens surrounding the team (watching games at home, tailgating). Of course, with all of the different social media outlets within each franchise, there are plenty of opportunities to continue reaching out to the general target market of men and women both. This way, your primary target market doesn’t feel alienated.